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Train Your Brain: Build Mental Toughness

Build mental toughness and explore what you’re capable of accomplishing

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the latest gear and training technology. Triathletes get caught up in the latest nutrition, the newest GPS watch, or the most recent bike to hit the market. But can those get you over the proverbial hump? Maybe not. Most agree that a big part of success in any sport is due to mental factors. You can have the fanciest items, but they can’t make you push yourself when it’s needed most. When you build mental toughness you create strategies for when an obstacle is encountered or an uncomfortable feeling arises. Those strategies become tools that help you become comfortable with the uncomfortable. Still uncomfortable during an open water swim? Add these 5 tips to get over your fear of open water to your strategy.

How you can build mental toughness

Assume that your thoughts, feelings, and performance are intertwined. With that, triathletes can begin the process of overcoming anything rather than the feeling of being overcome. Mental training is an important part of an athlete’s overall development. Many do not identify this part of training and often find themselves struggling during their training or a race. One of the basic principles of success and how to build mental toughness is to simplify the process of thinking. Be as prepared for your first triathlon as possible when you know what to expect with this breakdown.

You can accomplish anything you set out to do!

As many will confirm, you can accomplish anything you put your mind to. With so many thoughts going through the brain, it can be difficult to reduce distractions and negatives. One of the reasons why athletes ignore the mental aspect of training is that they are not familiar with the basics of sports psychology and mental training. In keeping with the “less is better” philosophy, mental training is better understood using the construction of the following three words: Think –> Feel–> Perform.

Think

Check-in with yourself before your next swim, bike, or run workout.

Before your next workout, take a moment to identify your thoughts. Are you optimistic about your planned bike ride? Are you thinking about how good you will feel during and after the swim? Maintaining positive thoughts before and during an activity is the first step to controlling your performance. Uncomfortable and negative thoughts might start to creep in. Bring yourself back to your “why” and tell yourself positive “I am” statements. Make these “I am” statements become a habit. Then add that to these 8 additional habits of successful triathletes.

  • I am strong.
  • I am willing to push through this to complete my goal of riding 30 miles.
  • I can swim longer.
  • I am running 10 miles to better myself.  

Feel

Determine your emotional state as you warm up. Identify your thoughts. Are you excited to swim, bike, or run? Do you feel a personal challenge with the distance? Do you feel confident in your abilities? Are you anxious, nervous, or stressed about the mileage? Maintaining positive emotions before and during the workout is the second step in gaining control over your performance. Pro tip: feel more confident when you increase your bike mileage by incorporating these 6 tips.

Consistency is key during training.

Visualize other times in your life or training where you have achieved a goal you set for yourself. Harness this positive feeling and project it towards your current goal. Check your playlist if you are listening to music. Make sure your running playlist consists of music that’ll pump you up and energize you. If more relaxed music or a podcast helps, listen to that to calm your nerves. 

Perform

Practice daily. Be consistent. This does not mean you have to work out every day, but you can put yourself in situations where you have to practice mental toughness. Increase the weights during your workout or add more reps. Add more miles to your ride. Swim for 15 more minutes than last time. If you need to make tweaks to your training to see improvement, follow this advice and adjust accordingly.

Introduce yourself to situations that may happen on race day during your training. Get out of bed and start that workout in the cold weather. Next time it is raining, instead of skipping go out and run in the rain. Of course, that is only if it is safe to do so. Didn’t sleep well? Attempt your planned run. You can see how the lack of sleep affects your ability to keep positive thoughts and emotions. 

Overcome the struggle

Having positive thoughts and feelings right from the start will give you a chance to succeed. This may not result in PR, but you are in a much better position to have a pleasant experience with the right mindset. Your thoughts can affect your emotions, and your emotions can affect your performance. Once you get into the race, a strong swim will lead to more positive thoughts, more confident emotions. Conversely, negative thoughts usually lead to negative feelings.

If you find yourself struggling, understand your thought process during that specific workout. Chances are negative, self-defeating thoughts are what’s making you question your abilities. Turn your thoughts into something positive, optimistic, and confidence-building. When you go out on the streets, it will help you feel good about yourself and crush your next swim, bike, or run.

How Many Calories are Burned During a Sprint Triathlon?

Understand your body’s needs when you know how many calories are burned during a sprint triathlon

Triathlon is among the most physically demanding and grueling sports. The race is divided into three parts – cycling, swimming, and running. Sprint triathlon is the shortest of all triathlon distances and a great way for new triathletes to enter the sport. CapTex Triathlon’s sprint distance includes a 750m swim, 12.3-mile bike ride, and 5K run. Those are also typical of other sprint distances. While sprint distances are shorter, you still have to properly fuel your body. Proper nutrition is important no matter the distance. In order to know what your body needs, you have to understand how many calories are burned during a sprint triathlon.

Keep in mind that everyone burns calories at different rates. This is meant to be a general guide to understanding your needs. Here’s some more helpful information on what to expect at your first triathlon.

Pro tip: this information can be useful if you’re participating in The Rookie Triathlon’s super sprint distance. It consists of a 300m swim 11-mile ride, and 2-mile run.

Calories burned

For triathletes, several factors play a role in how many calories are burned during a race. The three biggest contributors are bodyweight, distance covered, and pace during the event. The majority of charts will have a ‘calories burned’ per time segment/per round, keeping in mind your body weight. The calorie values typically include the individual’s basal metabolic rate (BMR).

For a 750m swim, a person weighing 150 pounds would burn approximately 682 calories each hour. The sprint typically takes up to 20 minutes, so the total would be around 85 to 227.

It takes about 38 minutes to complete the 12.3-mile bike ride. For a person that weighs 150 pounds, the calories burned covering this distance would be around 682. A person weighing 120 pounds would burn around 545. Pro tip: safely practice eating and drinking on the bike and avoid traffic at these 3 cyclist-friendly Austin locations.

A 5K run usually takes 45 minutes for an average triathlete to complete. When you run at this particular pace, you burn up to 15 calories a minute. This equates to approximately 675 calories. That amount could increase for triathletes that run faster.

Things to keep in mind

If this is your first time training for a triathlon, you might notice a rise in your regular appetite. This will typically happen in the first few weeks of training and workouts. Why does this happen? An increase in appetite results from the body burning a greater number of calories than normal. However, when you’re training for your sprint triathlon make sure you don’t overeat. This will undo the benefits of your daily workouts. There are workout calculators that you can use to track the number of calories burned and monitor your calorie consumption. These aspects are critical for maintaining your weight goals. Additionally, practice these habits of successful triathletes to crush your training and hit your goals!

Easy Workouts You Can Do During Your Lunch Break

Pressed for time? Crush these lunch break workouts

One of the biggest struggles for working professionals is striking that work-life balance. While there are hundreds of suggestions available online to help you achieve this work-life balance, it is easier said than done. Most people tend to spend their time sitting in one place with limited physical activity. We tend to invest all our time in our work, trying to maximize our productivity, taking our body for granted. One cannot neglect the need for the physical conditioning of the body in such a scenario. Regular exercise and workouts are essential to ensuring a fit and productive body. Time is valuable. If you can incorporate these lunch break workouts, do it!

Go for a quick jog during lunch.

Over-loaded schedules can lead to burn out, fatigue, and missed workouts. Working out regularly has numerous benefits. Consistency is crucial if training for a triathlon of any distance. Missing even one day can sometimes upset your body’s schedule and disrupt its normal functioning. We have compiled a list of easy lunch break workouts that won’t take up all of your time. Stay on track, whether you’re training or staying in shape.

Go for a quick jog or ride

You can develop this habit and feel the difference within a few days. A light jog or a quick ride is something you can do just about anywhere. If you have lunch in your office, you can take a lap around the office. You can even ask your colleagues to join you and form an office run club. If you decide to eat at a nearby place, you can ride there. Pro tip: if you have the chance to take the stairs, do it! You can also turn that into a workout. Walk or jog up and down several floors. This will help increase your lower body strength.

Light jogging or an easy ride can work wonders before lunch. It will increase your heart rate, ensuring a proper flow of blood throughout your body. It is basically a cardio blast before lunch, and we promise you will enjoy your lunch better after it. These 3 cyclist-friendly routes in Austin are great for a quick ride.

Circuit training

No weights? No problem! Push-ups, sit-ups, and squats will get the job done.

If you are not at your office and can afford a little sweat, try circuit training. You can develop a quick customized routine to suit your physical requirements. It can be a combination of multiple two-minute routines, focusing on every major muscle, or it can just focus on a core group of muscles.

If you’re trying to save money during triathlon training, you can even do this at the office without weights. You will use your bodyweight for push-ups, sit-ups, squats, and lunges. Set up a workout plan with three sets of 10 repetitions. No matter your workout’s intensity, don’t forget about the importance of the warm-up and cool down.

Develop a quick stretch routine

The benefits of stretching every day are endless.

This is again something you can take up anywhere. Once you realize it’s time for lunch, you can take off your shoes and stretch your muscles. Make sure that you focus on every major muscle: shoulders, arms, legs, torso, and neck. Once you develop a flow, you can add more stretching exercises to your routine or incorporate a 15-minute yoga session. A great stretch routine is an important part of any day, but especially if you use your lunch break workouts as training for your first triathlon.

What to Expect at Your First Triathlon

Be prepared for everything and know what to expect at your first triathlon

Have you signed up for your first triathlon? Congrats! You might have questions about training, what you need, and what will happen on race day. We’ll walk you through race weekend, from packet pickup to the finish line festival. For a breakdown of what you need, make sure you have these 6 items. There are many variations of training plans available. Whatever route you go, incorporate these 8 habits to have a good training experience.

Know what to expect for a memorable journey to the finish line.

Beginner triathletes can feel excitement, stress, and anxiety all at the same time. Like your upcoming training, the more you know the better. Keep the surprises to a minimum and soothe those jitters with this rundown of what to expect at your first triathlon. Unless you have a specific time goal in mind with certain splits, make this an enjoyable experience and have fun. Pro tip: there’s nothing better than reading a story about someone’s first triathlon, especially when it’s written by the new triathlete. Read about William’s first triathlon and see how his day went!

Before the start line

Packet pickup

You need to pick up your race packet! It’ll have important items like your timing chip, swim cap, and bib. You might find other goodies like a commemorative shirt and items or discounts from sponsors. Packet pickup normally takes place at least one day before the race. Some triathlons have expos full of vendors, gear, and experiences. Other events might set up shop at a local bike shop. Either way, get your packet before race day. Pro tip: packet pickup is typically busiest during the first two hours. Consider going a couple hours after it has opened.

Transition

Get to transition early so you can take your time setting up your area.

If this is your first triathlon, you might want to get to transition as soon as it opens race morning. This can provide you with an advantage. Pick out the location that’s best for you based on where your age group is located. Set up your transition so that it best fits your race-day needs. If you get set up and have plenty of time, walk around transition, chat with other triathletes, and become familiar with where your items are located. The last thing you want is to exit the water, run to transition, and forget where your bike is. Eliminate any other pre-race jitters with these 6 tactics.

After the start line

Swim

Out of the water, headed to transition.

Participants are grouped by their age. You’ll begin the swim in wave with your group. As a beginner, ease into the swim and build momentum once you get in a rhythm. Focus on your form and rely on your training. If you used certain tricks to keep you calm, implement them when needed. Make sure you look up and stay on course. You don’t want to swim any more than you have to! Once you complete the swim and exit the water, unzip and take off your wetsuit if you wore one. Head to transition, locate your bike, and switch out any swim gear for what you’ll need on the bike.

Bike

Check your bike a few days prior to the race to ensure everything is good to go. You want to avoid any last-minute hiccups. Check your brakes, chain, wheels, and see if your saddle height needs to be adjusted. The adrenaline from the swim will make you want to exert all your energy on the bike, but remember to save something for the run. Once you’re ready to go, make sure your helmet is on and the helmet strap is secure before leaving transition with your bike. You can’t get on your bike until you cross the mount line. When you return, you have to get off your bike at or before the dismount line. Head back to your spot, rack your bike, grab your bib, and get ready to run

Run

Crossing the finish line is something you’ll always remember!

Well done! You made it to the final leg of your first triathlon. You will need a minute to recover from the bike and get your legs going. If you completed any brick workouts during your training then you’ll know your legs will feel wobbly when you dismount your bike. The run leg will test your stamina and patience. You’re exhausted and toward the end of your first triathlon. Focus on your breathing and keep putting one foot in front of the other. Grab hydration along the run if you need it. Keep pushing, you’ll cross the finish line soon!

Finishing your first triathlon will be a moment you remember forever. A certain euphoria will take over and make all the stress, pain, and fatigue worth it. Give yourself a pat on the back and head to the finish line festival to celebrate your accomplishment.

Austin Instagram Accounts You Need to Follow

6 Ways to Increase Your Bike Mileage

Achieve your larger goals with this advice on how to increase your bike mileage

Cycling is fun. The wind is blowing in your face and you’re generating your own power. Naturally, we want to go further and further, push the boundaries. Testing ourselves is one way to build our self-esteem and learn about mental fortitude. Setting a bigger goal can be overwhelming when you look at the goal by itself. Follow our guide for the best way to increase your bike mileage. You’ll grow as a cyclist, reduce the chance of injury, and work towards your big goal! Pro tip: if you’re just getting started, avoid the roads and ride on these cyclist-friendly routes.

Do the work

Cyclists cross the South 1st Street bridge during the CapTex Tri.This is self-explanatory! Whether it’s a rest day or your longest ride ever, you have to do the work. You don’t need to set records every time, but you do need to be consistent. That’s how you’ll build your stamina and teach your body to ride further and further. If there’s a day where you just can’t squeeze in a ride or workout (because life happens), don’t stress. Don’t try to make it up the next day. Squeeze in a foam roll or stretch session if you can and keep moving forward with your plan! Make sure you practice these 5 bike handling skills every time you ride.

REST

If your training plan calls for a rest day, TAKE THE REST DAY. This allows your body the chance to recover from the previous workout. If you get the itch to do something, make it active recovery. Foam roll throughout the day. Set aside time for deep stretching. Take an online yoga class. Those three options will speed up the recovery process and get you ready for the next day. Pro tip: successful triathletes take advantage of rest days. Check out 7 more habits of successful triathletes.

Increase your stamina

Cyclist rides on a stretch of Cesar Chavez Street during the CapTex Tri.As you increase your bike mileage, you begin to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Weekend rides begin to get longer and longer. As you hit new distances, it’s important to remain focused on form and technique. You want to remain as efficient as possible. Focusing on your form will allow you to generate power efficiently. This will also help with your body’s ability to consume oxygen.

You want to ease into your ride to conserve energy. Start at a pace that feels effortless. You should be able to have a conversation. As you ride, you’ll eventually pick up speed to help with your stamina later in the ride.

Build lower body strength

You’ll need to prepare your body for completing your bigger goals. Break up rides with weight workouts. You don’t need to become chiseled or gain muscle mass. Focus on lighter weights with higher repetitions. You want to push the body, burn fat, and build lean muscle. Working muscles differently than when you’re cycling is critical. It helps prevent the overuse of the same muscles.

Plan your route

Before your long ride, make sure you have a plan. You should ride as consistently as possible to build your stamina. Planning your route reduces the chance you have to stop and check where you are or ask for directions. For longer rides, planning your route allows you to refuel at a gas station pitstop. You can grab a bite to eat, rest for a minute, and use the restroom. Continue to refuel during your ride, topping off with a few hundred calories every hour. Lastly, let someone know your planned route and when you should return.

Set smaller goals

On your next long ride, push yourself to ride further than you did last weekend. When preparing to increase your mileage, you need to slowly teach your body that it’s capable of completing longer distances. You’ll eventually see that last week’s distance that was difficult is now easier. Slowly but surely increasing your mileage will put you in a prime position to really crush longer and longer distances. Pro tip: stay motivated and reward yourself when you complete the smaller goals you set.

There are many other factors that can impact how you increase your bike mileage: diet, hydration, nutrition, cross-training, injuries, etc. Those items can be built-in or dealt with as you progress. Just remember, you don’t just wake up and ride these longer distances. This will take time, persistence, consistency. Do the work, set smaller goals, rest when you’re supposed to, and you will achieve whatever goals are in front of you! Stay safe and follow the cycling rules of the road.

Our Favorite High-Tech Triathlon Gear

Take things to the next level with our favorite high-tech triathlon gear

To optimize your triathlon training and performance you need the best gadgets and gear. From the swim to the bike to the run, we’ve got it covered. Here’s a list of our favorite high-tech triathlon gear that can improve your chances of outperforming yourself. Check the hyperlinks for the recommendations of our favorite high-tech triathlon gear. Pro tip: if you’re new to triathlon check out the 6 items you must have.

Swim skins

A wetsuit is not suitable for swimming in warm waters, any temperature beyond 78 degrees by USAT standards. In some cases, athletes are not even allowed to wear wetsuits to compete. Therefore, you must invest in a swim skin that is designed to improve hydrodynamics. A swim skin betters your body’s alignment with the water due to its smooth surface and unrestrictive fit. It is a piece of must-have equipment during a swim leg and is worn over the tri-suit. Despite being non-buoyant, your body will contract under a swim skin. Therefore, the amount of friction with the water will reduce significantly and your speed would dramatically increase.

Bluetooth bike trainer

A Bluetooth bike trainer, like the Garmin TacX Neo 2T direct-drive smart trainer, is a great tool for indoor cycling. You may consider adding it to your collection of cool gadgets for the sake of it being ergonomic, enjoyable, and efficient. It is a more user-friendly device than a power meter or a bike computer. All you need to do is connect your Bluetooth trainer to a bike app like Zwift. Then you can enjoy a virtual, noise-free ride with the benefit of gaining precise insights into your cycling dynamics.

Disk race wheel

You can attach a disk wheel on the back to experience a smoother ride as it offers an effective mechanism to deflect air resistance. Disk wheels are ideal for short track races or indoor cycling meant to help you to get into a more aerodynamic position. So, if the requirement meets the demand, you can check and see if bike shops in your area rent disc wheels.

Electronic Shifting – Di2

Gone are the days of hand-motion based gear shifting. Add more control to your cycling game with this electronic shifter. It allows you to shift through the complete range of both the derailleurs. It comes with no cables, ergo no friction. And you can perform faster shifting on every range – front, rear, up and down. Check with your local bike shop to see if you can upgrade your traditional gear to its electronic variant.

Power meter pedals

If you are looking for a complete cycling and training experience, that is also smart, get yourself power meter pedals. It supports Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity. So, you can depend on the most accurate data of your cycling dynamics. Go for the one with 120-hour battery life that’s easy to install on any crankset.

Garmin Forerunner 945XT

Complete your running practice with this cool smartwatch that has a 360-degree curve in terms of performance and features. It comes with GPS tracking. You can even download songs to your watch. The gadget performs every nitty-gritty of performance monitoring and you can pay with it! Yes, you heard that right. Enjoy a battery life of up to 2 weeks in smartwatch mode.

AfterShokz Xtrainerz

The open-ear designed, bone-conduction, waterproof audio system has a very comfortable fit. Add some relaxing audio to your underwater training with these headphones. It does not come with Bluetooth connectivity. However, it has a 4gb memory, so, you can keep up to 1200 songs on this device. Most devices offer an 8-hour battery life.

If you plan to upgrade your gear, our list of favorite high-tech triathlon gear is a great place to start. Make sure you visit the hyperlinks and order the gear you need. Or share the link with Santa, if you’re on the Nice List!

3 Tips for Running During the Holidays

Stay on top of your running during the holidays with our advice

The holiday season is fast approaching. You might wonder if you can keep your running schedule going without any disruptions. Spending time with your family and friends, eating your favorite Christmas meals, late nights, and drinking can make running during the holidays quite the challenge.

If you don’t go for a run regularly, you can feel out of shape. So how can you keep running during the holidays? Follow the advice below! Prepare accordingly, stay on track with your running schedule, and have a wonderful time this holiday season. Pro tip: preparation is crucial and one of the main habits of successful triathletes.

Set a goal

One of the best ways to keep yourself running during the holidays is to set a goal. For instance, a goal can include a specific number of miles or a fixed amount of time every week. Another option would be to start a running streak by setting a schedule. Feel like your running is in a rut? These training tweaks could improve your performance.

You can register for an event, like the Ascension Seton Austin Marathon. Having a goal race on your calendar will push you to run regularly. Keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be a big event to get you running during the holidays. Even registering for the Run Austin Virtual Series’ Armadillo 5K or Makin’ Music 4-Miler can do the trick. All you need is to create goals that will motivate you to go for a run regularly.

Go with the flow

During the holiday season, you are bound to have family, work, and travel commitments. They affect how much time you can spend training and keeping your body healthy and fit. When it comes to running, the first thing you should do is take a look at your schedule. If you have any commitments, avoid canceling your run. Instead, make adjustments to your running schedule. If you feel like going for a run outside of your “planned time,” do it. You never know what might happen to prevent you from running. Pro tip: remember to leave some time for the important warm-up and cool-down.

Have fun

The most important thing when it comes to winter training is to have fun. Although the holiday season is a time to enjoy and relax, it may not always be the case. Sometimes, you have to crunch extra hours at work to spend time with your family and friends. For a lot of people, the holiday season comes with a lot of stress. The best way to deal with anxiety-inducing situations is to take a break from them. You need to relax to recharge your mind and be ready to deal with anything that comes your way.

When you are suffering from a mental block, going for a run can help you significantly. By taking your mind off the situation, you can come back and visit it with a fresh and new perspective.

At the same time, you should also make sure you get adequate amounts of sleep. This helps your body recover and should be a major part of your winter training schedule. After all, you don’t want to burn your candle at both ends, as this will make it harder to go for a run regularly.

Don’t stress out if you miss a run or two. As long as you do as much as you can every day, you’re doing a wonderful job!

Adjusting Your Saddle Height Can Make All the Difference

Learn why adjusting your saddle height matters and how it can be done

Many people don’t realize that adjusting your saddle height by a few millimeters can make a huge difference in how they feel on their bike. If you feel like you are not making gains or if you have pain after riding, you may want to try adjusting your saddle height. Properly adjusting your saddle height could help you improve these 5 bike handling skills.

Saddle height explained

Saddle height is the distance between the heart of the pedal axle and the top of the saddle. It is set by adjusting the seat post to an ideal height that balances comfort and power on the bike. Remember, adjusting your saddle height is important like making sure your helmet always fits!

Reasons to change

Saddle height is arguably the single most important adjustment on your bicycle. Incorrect saddle height can contribute to saddle discomfort and anterior and posterior knee pain. The poor leverage can also limit your power production. 

Adjusting your saddle height

There are many methods and formulas to find your “proper” saddle height. One of the best approaches is to establish it based on the rider’s individual ride characteristics and flexibility. If you are looking for recommendations, visit Josh at Jack & Adam’s Fredericksburg or with the crew over at Mellow Johnny’s. A bike fit specialist can explain your individual characteristics. They can also highlight what equipment may be contributing to any performance or biomechanical limitations. If you can’t make it to a bike fit there is still a solution. 

At home fix

Before your next ride, experiment at home with the “heel to pedal method.” This will get you in the ballpark range before you can see a professional. First, mark the current height. Then, put your bike on the trainer. Pedal around to make sure you are in the position you normally ride in. Place your heel on the pedal and pedal backward to reach the six o’clock position. Your knee should be completely straight. If your heel has trouble making contact with the pedal, the seat is too high. If your knee is bent it is too low. Make very small adjustments, in millimeters, until your leg is straight with the heel on the pedal.

Adapting to your new saddle height

When you’re done adjusting your saddle height, wrap a strip of electrical tape around the base of the post where it meets the seat clamp. Take measurements and keep them for future reference. Make the first few rides with your new saddle height short and sweet. It can take a few rides before your body fully adapts. It is good to get your bike fit looked at at least every few years or if you get new equipment such as new shoes or pedals. Pro tip: when you’re ready for longer rides, check out these 3 cyclist-friendly routes in Austin.

3 Cyclist-Friendly Routes in Austin to Ride

Get more comfortable on your bike when you ride these cyclist-friendly routes in Austin

Avoid traffic and become more comfortable on your bike on these cyclist-friendly routes. These 3 Austin spots are located throughout town, making them accessible to many cyclists. They’re ideal for enjoying a scenic route and mastering your bike handling skills. New to cycling or just purchased your first bike? Nice! The more routes you ride, the more familiar you will become with your new bike. If switching gears is new to you, using them can be tricky on your first few rides. Your bike presents a new feel. Leaning into the curves, becoming comfortable with the handling, and eating and drinking on the bike are all things you should practice. Pro tip: always check that your helmet fits before every ride.

Veloway

This 3-mile looped, one-way roadway is an ideal cyclist-friendly route. The Veloway is located in southwest Austin off LaCrosse Avenue and is closed to traffic. Parking is ample. Most noteworthy, this route is strictly for cyclists and rollerbladers, no runners or walkers (watch out for the wildlife!). The roadway is bisected with a continuous white line (slower cyclists keep to the right). Everyone moves in the same clockwise manner. You can relax a little knowing you don’t have to keep an eye out for non-wheeled individuals or riders coming in your direction. There are gorgeous views, a few tight turns, and some nice straightaways. Make sure you get into the right gear for a nice climb around Mile 2! Porta-potties are available.

Southern Walnut Creek Trail

The Southern Walnut Creek Trail begins at Govalle Neighborhood Park off Bolm Road in east Austin. It features nearly 7.5 miles of 10-foot wide concrete paths and splendid views. Like the Veloway, there is plenty of parking. Be advised, runners and walkers are allowed on the trail and traffic flows both ways. Ensure the other lane is clear and yell out “on your left” if you plan to pass others. There are a few road crossings along the trail to be aware of as well. Add 11 miles and some nice climbs to your bike ride when you preview the Rookie Tri and Jack’s Generic Tri bike courses! The trail rides alongside Daffan Lane and eventually hits Decker Lane.

Brushy Creek Regional Trail

Representing north Austin, the Brushy Creek Regional Trail reaches Round Rock to the east and Cedar Park to the west. Check out Stone Canyon Pool if you park to the east. Park to the west at Twin Lakes Family YMCA. Be aware of runners and walkers on this 6.75-mile multi-use trail that connects neighborhoods and existing parks. Traffic flows in both directions and there are multiple restrooms along the trail. Make sure the other lane is clear and yell out “on your left” if you plan to pass others. BCRT images from cedarparktexas.gov.